A New Hope…

All this talk about death and moping around has caused a big stir in the fishing community.  It is fact that both our snook and bonefish population have taken a major hit.  But at to what extent?  Nature has always had a way of surviving.  All is not lost.  When all seems grim and we are surrounded by death, nature has a way of surprising us. 

There is a light at the end of this short tunnel.  Reports are coming in from many different areas that the fishery is indeed improving.  Anglers are reporting some of their best days of redfishing from all parts of the state.  The black drum and sheepshead have not been this thick for a couple of years and of coarse, there are still snook being caught.  Permit and Bonefish are also still being caught in Biscayne Bay and the Keys.  Permit come in and out of the shallows off the deep water wrecks.  Bonefish migrate back and forth between South Florida and the Bahamas.  Those snook that managed to escape the onslaught of the cold are slowly returning to some of their wintery haunts.  Some hungry and very willing to eat a well placed fly or plug.  You’ll know when a snook is healthy when it charges and clobbers your fly.  Those that need more time to recooperate will likely just ignore your offerings until they are entirely back to normal.  Catching a snook has become more of a challenge then it has been in the last few years but those who are willing to meet this challenge head on will be greatly rewarded.  These fish will not be wiped out of existance due to catch and release tactics.  The important thing to remember to ensure a fish’s survival is to handle the fish with care and return it back into the water revived and with as little stress as possible. 

To put things into perspective, the last event as such happend in the 70’s.  There were no laws to protect a snook back then, even after the population has taken a hit as such.  This day, the FWC has placed laws to protect the species for a faster recovery, more anglers are practicing catch and release, and anglers have access to more information then ever about proper handling of a snook for a sucessful release.  Don’t let a few negative reports get you down… go out, go fishing, catch some fish, and cherish the time you spend on the water… don’t let anybody else tell you otherwise! 

World Angling's Dave Teper with a big snook caught several days after the "fish kill".

See you guys on the water…